A 5 Minute Hearing Test, Especially for Seniors


Answer each of the following questions.
Scoring guide at bottom of page.

1. I have a problem hearing over the telephone.

  • Almost Always
  • Half of the time
  • Occasionally
  • Never

2. I have trouble following the conversation when two or more people are talking at the same time.

  • Almost Always
  • Half of the time
  • Occasionally
  • Never

3. People complain that I turn the TV volume too high.

  • Almost Always
  • Half of the time
  • Occasionally
  • Never

4. I have to strain to understand conversations.

  • Almost Always
  • Half of the time
  • Occasionally
  • Never

5. I miss hearing some common sounds like the phone or doorbell ringing.

  • Almost Always
  • Half of the time
  • Occasionally
  • Never

6. I have trouble hearing conversations in a noisy background such as a party.

  • Almost Always
  • Half of the time
  • Occasionally
  • Never

7. I get confused about where sounds come from

  • Almost Always
  • Half of the time
  • Occasionally
  • Never

8. I misunderstand some words in a sentence and need to ask people to repeat themselves.

  • Almost Always
  • Half of the time
  • Occasionally
  • Never

9. I especially have trouble understanding the speech of women and children.

  • Almost Always
  • Half of the time
  • Occasionally
  • Never

10. I have worked in noisy environments (assembly line, jackhammers, jet engines, ect.)

  • Almost Always
  • Half of the time
  • Occasionally
  • Never

11. Many people I talk to seem to mumble (or don’t speak clearly).

  • Almost Always
  • Half of the time
  • Occasionally
  • Never

12. People get annoyed because I misunderstand what they say.

  • Almost Always
  • Half of the time
  • Occasionally
  • Never

13. I misunderstand what others are saying and make inappropriate responses.

  • Almost Always
  • Half of the time
  • Occasionally
  • Never

14. I avoid social activities because I cannot hear well and fear I’ll reply improperly.

  • Almost Always
  • Half of the time
  • Occasionally
  • Never

To be answered by a family member or friend: 15. Do you think this person has a hearing loss?

  • Almost Always
  • Half of the time
  • Occasionally
  • Never

SCORING

To calculate your score, give yourself 3 points for every time you checked the “Almost always” column, 2 for every “Half the time,” 1 for every “Occasionally,” and 0 for every “Never.” If you have a blood relative who has a hearing loss, add another 3 points. Then total your points.

The American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery recommends the following:

0 to 5 – Your hearing is fine. No action is required.

6 to 9 – Suggest you see an ear-nose-and-throat (ENT) specialist.

10 and above – Strongly recommend you see an ear physician.

This quiz was field- tested on 71 older patients in five cities; audiograms were also run on them. Results showed that those whose quiz scores indicated a need to see a physician were confirmed, on the audiogram, as having a hearing impairment. Mark the column that best describes the frequency with which you experience each situation or feeling.

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